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Old May 15, 2022, 04:46 PM   #1
cedarhill
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Broomhandle question

Compadres,
Thank you for letting me join this forum and for sharing your collective wisdom. I've been around guns all my life (was a factory salesman for Savage back in the 60s) and have continued to be a happy member of the firearms community well into my seventh decade.
I've handled only one or two 1896 Mauser pistols in my life, so it's fair to say I know very little about them. A buddy brought by a 1896 that appears to be a commercial model (no stock cut, VonLengerke and Detwolde markings on the left side) made in 1902 or 03.
What is interesting to me is that he also had a wooden shoulder stock into which the gun fit perfectly. It appears to be of the same vintage as the gun. I couldn't find any serial numbers on the stock. It is complete with the correct attachment for a slotted 1896, which this is not. It has suffered the years and has a few longitudinal cracks.
Could VonLengerke et al have offered a wooden buttstock with the gun, even though it wouldn't attach? Perhaps it was given out in the way some gun shops hand out a gun rug with a used pistol.
Maybe the original owner bought the buttstock years later because the gun fit inside. I would appreciate your thoughts on this interesting combination.
Thanks,
Pete
New Mexico
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Old May 15, 2022, 06:09 PM   #2
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though I sold it some time ago, for many years I had a commercial Bolo model (1920s vintage) which had the stock cut. This gun had also been refinished nd converted to 9mm Luger.

The Wooden stock/holster was a standard accessory for all the slotted Broomhandles, and has NO markings. None on the wood, none on the metal. Any standard Broomhandle will fit inside one. The complete stock set also has a leather "hanger" that can attach to a belt or sling which the stock fastens to (straps) and slots for the cleaning rod sections.

They were not numbered to the guns, none I have seen, including the one I had , had any visible markings. I'm sure they were sold as accessories /replacements if your C96 didn't come with one.

And, there are also "aftermarket" reproduction stock/holsters as well.

The ATF has been very "on again, off again" about pistol stocks over the years and has changed what is officially "legal" (without a tax stamp) at least 3 different times that I know of.

The last change they did before I stopped following the subject (and getting rid of my stock) was that stocked "curio & relic" guns were legal with no stamp, only if the stock was "original period" correct. Prior to that, they had been legal no stamp if the stock was original or a reproduction.

And before that it was mostly gun + stock wasn't legal unless it had the stamp. Many guns, particularly Lugers owners had the stock lug ground off, so a stock could not be attached, and so they could legally have both without the tax stamp. Pity, but that's what people did....

The really risky thing about the stocks, and the regulations is that since they aren't marked, how does one proove...anything about them, really??

Appearnce isn't PROOF. Sure, a 1920s or earlier stock would be expected to show some wear, but lack of that is proof of nothing, other than it was well cared for.

As I understood it (and I'm not a lawyer) the change where the ATF says only period stocks are exempt would mean that for my 1920s era gun, a stock made in the 20s (or earlier) would be allowed but a reproduction made in the 50s or the 70s would NOT be. So, in order to avoid the remote possibility of wrongdoing, I sold th stock to a collector, and some years later, sold the pistol to someone else.

My gun was in 9mm Luger and was without question the most miserable 9mm to shoot I've ever found. Without gloves, it HURT, due the small grips, the odd shape, and mostly the stock attachment cutout.

With the stock attached, it was very pleasant to shoot, though wobbly....

The C96 is an important step in the evolution of firearms design, but like the Luger, and some others, was an evolutionary dead end.

think of them like the fin back dinosaurs of the Triassic period, a new step in evolution, and dominating for an age, but going extinct as better designs appeared in the Jurassic age.

My guess would be that some previous owner bought/already had a C96 stock/holster and paired it up with the gun you've got.

BTW, the Chinese made them, too....
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Old May 15, 2022, 09:37 PM   #3
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From the books I have, the metal piece (not the spring steel piece that was pushed down but the piece that was screwed into the wood stock) was stamped with the serial #.

Charles Pate has the newest & best book on the Broomhandle and they're rare. Try to get one via inter-library loan. Slightly older is Breathed & Schroder's (sp on both) System Mauser is the second best book on the C96.
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Old May 16, 2022, 12:06 AM   #4
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It is possible that the unmarked stocks I have seen were reproductions. I know one was, and presented as such, the others were claimed to be "originals", but really who knows...
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Old May 16, 2022, 06:27 AM   #5
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What if the C96 is an antique or per se, over 100 years old?
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Old May 16, 2022, 01:58 PM   #6
tangolima
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I have a C96. It was made in Germany for export to China after 1911, so it isn't an antique. I thought of getting a wooden stock for it. But I don't want to tread the legal swamp. I did find a pretty cool used leather holster for it.

It is in .30 Mauser. The original barrel had been shot out and relined. It shoots quite well. Later I found a bolo upper on GB for $100. I don't really like the short snout of a bolo. But why not?

-TL

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Old May 16, 2022, 02:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
What if the C96 is an antique or per se, over 100 years old?
The only thing I can suggest is talking/corresponding with the ATF to get their current interpretation of the regulations. If possible, get it in writing, on their letterhead with an agent's (or better yet) a supervisors signature on it.

This doesn't mean that what is legal today won't be reclassified as illegal at some future date, but it does provide proof that your intent was to comply with the rules. That isn't perfect CYA but it is better than nothing.
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Old May 16, 2022, 02:46 PM   #8
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I have the Gendarmarie (6 shot) version. European Police had capacity limits before NYC!

I stand corrected on markings on the shoulder stock. I checked all three books (The Mauser Self Loading Pistol by Belford & Dunlap, System Mauser by Breathed & Schroeder and The Broomhandle Pistol by Pate. and there is no comment on the markings on the tang of the shoulder stock holster.

Now I have to walk back to the library.
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Old May 23, 2022, 05:09 AM   #9
highpower3006
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On all of the original shoulder stocks that I have seen, the attachment lug was numbered to the gun. That doesn't mean that stocks sold separately were numbered as all the unnumbered stock attaching lugs I have seen were repops.

Quick pic of my 1916 commercial, military proofed C96, along with it's original stock, cleaning rod and leather carrier:



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Old May 23, 2022, 11:38 PM   #10
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So beautiful.
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Old May 31, 2022, 02:15 PM   #11
Unkl Chuck
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Second Highpowers comment on the numbers on the stocks, my experience has been the similar.
That's a good looking rig, Highpower.
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